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FCC Supports National Benevolent Association Programs

Following God’s call, the National Benevolent Association (NBA) exists to inspire and connect the people and ministries of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), to accompany one another in the creation of communities of compassion and care, and to advocate for the well-being of humanity. NBA XPLOR is a 10-month service residency opportunity for young adults ages 21-30, with the purpose of empowering young adults to discern and develop a “heart for care” as they live together in simple community, engage in direct service and justice work, engage in leadership development, and discern their vocational calls to honor the various communities they are called to serve. Learn more and apply at

First Christian Church was happy to partner with NBA XPLOR this year and gave a $5,000 grant that funded two separate initiatives.

Half of the grand was used to support NBA XPLOR Residents in their internships at Community Engagement Sights. On June 14, 2019 there were 15 NBA XPLOR Residents who completed 10 months of service and learning in five cities and communities across the country. Each of these XPLOR Residents worked hundreds of hours of service through their internships at local nonprofits.

Madyson McColm is one of the XPLOR Residents that completed her year of service and learning at the NBA St. Louis XPLOR House. She interned with Doorways Housing, an interfaith nonprofit that provides housing and supportive services to improve the life and health outcomes for people living with HIV/AIDS. Mady also joined NBA and 25 XPLOR current and former Residents at the General Assembly of the Disciples Church that took place in Des Moines, Iowa, in July. Not only did she help welcome visitors to the NBA exhibit booth, but she also offered leadership at learning workshops and spoke as part of the program of the Disciples Justice Rally.

The other half of the FCC Wholeness Grant was used to support the NBA Disciples Chaplains Peer Group. In December of 2018, NBA was thrilled to launch the first Disciples Chaplains Peer-to-Peer Learning Group. This group of clergy leaders is incredibly diverse in the kinds of ministry settings and communities in which they offer pastoral and ministerial services. From prison and jail settings, to military reserves, to hospitals and hospice care, these are individuals that are making a meaningful difference in the places they have been called. Their goal, as a peer group, is to offer collegiality, connection, and support. The Peer Group decided to attend a recent training that the NBA hosted at a retreat center in Arizona. The Wholeness Grant Funding helped to support expenses for the Chaplains Peer Group to attend and complete a two-day training on anti-racism and anti-oppression entitled “Intersections and Applications: Equipping Leaders to Faithfully Challenge Systemic Oppression.” The group also included leaders of other Disciples-affiliated nonprofits and agencies.

Mady’s story about XPLOR and her internship can be read here and her reflections on the General Assembly can be found here.

To view a video blog about the Chaplains Peer Group, click here.

The wholeness grant used to fund this ministry was made possible through your faithful financial support of our church and its ministries and help fund a variety of efforts to make our world a better place.

You can find more examples of those efforts or apply for a grant to make the world a better place by clicking here.


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